Bestway Wholesale is launching a new van sales division aimed at reaching 20,000 retailers every two weeks from January 22.
The wholesaler has bought 180 of Palmer and Harvey's (P&H) vans, hired the former head of P&H’s van sales teams – Noel Robinson – and also hired many former P&H van sales staff.
Bestway said its decision to take over much of P&H’s operations was designed to create 'a smooth transition' for former P&H customers.
Some of the services provided by P&H’s van sales teams – Snacksdirect and Sweetsdirect – have already been replaced by suppliers.
PepsiCo built its own van sales division to sell Walkers products to independent retailers in December last year. This followed the breakdown of PepsiCo's attempts to acquire the entire P&H van sales operation.
Martin Race, Bestway managing director, said the 'groundswell of support' from its supplier partners helped the wholesaler to launch the new service.
Race added: “As many customers look for alternative sources of supply after the collapse of P&H, this move will reinforce our ability to offer further support and supply customers.”